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Dr. Linda Luck

Professor of Biochemistry

As a faculty member and scientist my goal is to serve the scientific community by doing high-quality research in areas that impact our society—and the world. In order to do important research in chemistry and biology, I have expanded my expertise, developed new skills, and fostered collaboration with other research scientists around the globe. Collaboration is an important part of my research style as I can thereby extend my and my students’ work to address larger and more complex problems. I have been a faculty member at SUNY Plattsburgh for 12 years. Previous to this I spent 12 years at Clarkson University where I was a faculty member in the Chemistry and Biology Departments. I also hold an adjunct position in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.


Takes a Broad Experimental Approach to Research

In my research endeavors I take a broad experimental approach to answering scientific questions which incorporates methods of genetic engineering, molecular modeling, NMR, titrating calorimetry, mass spectrometry, electrochemistry, fluorescence and UV spectroscopy. I draw on my experience in graduate school, in postdoctoral positions, and in my work at the National Laboratory. The research in my laboratory embraces both science and technology and so my goal is to both address scientific questions and develop new methodologies. Although my initial area of expertise and inquiry was investigating receptor proteins using fluorine NMR I have branched out to advance research in the area of biosensors, an area of inquiry that is and has been of interest to funders and academic journals. My key focus in the biosensor research is to develop sensitive and specific biosensors using genetically engineered proteins. The main goal is to develop surfaces where these proteins can be sequestered and serve as a platform for the detection of target chemicals. I have collaborated with a number of research groups to explore different detection methods and methodology for embedding matrixes for proteins. These have included methodologies of electrochemistry, nanoparticles, atomic force microscopy, quartz crystal microbalance and surface plasmon resonance. I performed a recent innovative study developing a responsive “smart” protein hydrogel material that can be used as a biosensor. This study serves as a proof of concept for biosensors that can be constructed with photonic crystals embedded with genetically engineered proteins.

One of my research endeavors in the past couple of years is the development of a miniaturized biosensor to detect glucose in human tears. This groundbreaking work with a company named Opticology, will allow the diabetic population to monitor their glucose levels without needles. Also this biosensor methodology is being adapted to the detection of heavy metals in the environment.

My curiosity and enjoyment in culinary chemistry field prompted me to pursue research in this area, namely molecular gastronomy. For my sabbatical I was able to obtain an Erasmus Mundus Scholars Scholarship to study and pursue research work in this area in Paris, France. I mainly resided in the laboratory of Hervé This, who is the “Father of Molecular Gastronomy.”

One of my studies in this area is the investigation of the use of metallic nanoparticles to distill liquids. In this study, the nanoparticles are immersed in water and can act as efficient nanoscale generators of steam when illuminated by a Fresnel lens and sunlight. In this project, I will further investigate the use of the solar steam nanobubble phenomenon to distill ethanol from white wine and mash. The nanoparticles used in previous studies have been silicon based. My lab will take a novel approach and investigate the use of nanoparticles that have a magnetic metal covered with a gold surface. The project has a dual purpose: 1) the investigation of a “green method” for distillation of spirits and 2) the use of magnetic metal cored gold nanoparticles so they can be stirred during the process, recovered after the process and reused in subsequent distillations.

My other on-going project is the production of food from chemicals namely Note by Note Cuisine. In essence every food is made up of a basic chemicals. In my lab the students will investigate the construction of food using the basic chemical constituents---which is the ultimate “cooking from scratch.” Then we will engineer some different foods that are “never eaten before creations.”

Got a question for Linda?

Contact her at [email protected]


  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Vermont, Burlington, 1989 Thesis title: Stereodynamics of Platinum Phosphine Complexes
  • M.A. in Chemistry, State University of New York, Plattsburgh, 1980 Thesis title: The Purification of Elongation Factor II in Protein Biosynthesis
  • B.A. in Chemistry, State University of New York, Potsdam, 1974
  • Medical Technology Internship 1973–1974, Medical Center at Princeton, Princeton, NJ American Society of Clinical Pathologists Registered Medical Technologist
  • Postdoctoral Training:
    • Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder
    • Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    • Department of Biochemistry, Medical School, University of Vermont


  • International Advisory Board for the Food Innovation and Products Design Program. Paris, France 2014-2015 
  • Advisory Board for the International Center for Molecular Gastronomy, Paris France 2014-present

Editorial Boards

  • Member-Editorial Board of International Journal of Molecular Gastronomy, 2014-present
  • Member-Editorial Board of Analytical Biochemistry, 2011-present
  • Member-Editorial Board of Mediterranean Journal of Chemistry, 2011-2016

Teaching Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical Biochemistry
  • Kitchen Chemistry: Molecular Gastronomy
  • Food Science


  • Erasmus Mundus Scholars Scholarship 2014-2015
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, 2012
  • Featured Scholar, Celebration of Scholarship, SUNY Plattsburgh, 2010
  • Participant in COACh Professional Skills Development for Women Faculty, 2002 and 2003
  • Graham Research Faculty Award, 2000
  • Finn Wold Travel Award-Protein Society, 1996
  • Participant in AAMC Professional Development Seminar for Junior Women Faculty, 1992


  • DURIP DOD /ARO “Purchase of a NanoHPLC (UPLC) for the Advancement of Proteomics Research at Clarkson University and SUNY Plattsburgh” 2011–2014 $107,435
  • President’s Award “19F NMR Studies of the Estrogen Receptor” 2011–2012 $5,000
  • SUNY Mini Grant “Mass Spectrometry of Proteins” 2011 $1200
  • UUP Professional Development Individual Awards Program 2008–09
  • Educational Technology Grant SUNY “Using the Personal Computer and Internet for Biochemistry Education in the Laboratory” 2009–2010 $23,000
  • SUNY Curriculum Development Proposal for the Professional Science Master’s Program $10,000 Project Team Leader for the Allied Health Initiative
  • NSF MRI “Acquisition of an LCMS for the Chemistry Department at the University of Vermont” $430,000 2008–2011 Co PI
  • Educational Technology Grant SUNY “Green Chemistry: Effective Education using Computer Simulations and Calculations” 2007 Co-PI with Dr. Ed Miller $50,000
  • UUP Professional Development Individual Awards Program 2006–07
  • DOD BRCP“Development of a Biosensor for Identifying Novel Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals” 2007–2009 $93,000 CO-PI with Silent Spring Institute, Newton, MA
  • NSF “Summer supplement for High School Teacher for Electrochemical Impedence Architecture for Biosensors” Co-PI with Ian Suni 2006–2007 $10,000
  • NSF “Electrochemical Impedance Architecture for Biosensors” Co-PI with Ian Suni 2003–2007 $300,000
  • NSF Funded Faculty Associate-K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program 2000–2002 $48,688
  • NIH RO3 “Estrogenic Substance Detection by a Modified Nanobalance” PI 2001–2004 $146,308
  • PRF ACS-AC “Probing the Dynamic Behavior of the Human Estrogen Receptor by 19F NMR” PI 2001–2004 $60,000
  • Heart and Stroke Canada Research Grant OAI-1 “Structure Function and Interaction Studies” Co-PI with Art Szabo University of Waterloo, Toronto CA 2001–2002 $25,000

Selected Recent Publications

  • Cai, Z., Luck, L.A., Punihaole, D., Madura, J.D., Asher, S.A. (2016) Photonic Crystal Protein Hydrogel Sensor Materials Enabled by Conformationally Induced Volume Phase Transition. An Edge Article 6. Chemical Science 7, 4557-4562.
  • Luck, L. A., & Blondo, R. M. (2012). The grapes of class: Teaching chemistry concepts at a winery. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(10), 1264–1266.
  • Roy, U & Luck, L.A. (2011) Cysteine residues in receptor proteins: Structural insights from two E. coli periplasmic receptors. Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 5, 771–777.
  • Andreescu, S. & Luck, L. A. (2008). Genetically engineered protein films on gold nanoparticles: A novel electrochemical glucose biosensor. Analytical Biochemistry, 375, 282–290.
  • Roy, U., & Luck, L. A. (2007). Molecular modeling of estrogen receptor using molecular operating environment. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 35(4), 238–243.
  • Wang, J., Luck, L. A., & Suni, I. I. (2007). Immobilization of the glucose-galactose receptor protein onto a au electrode through a genetically engineered Cysteine residue. Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, 10(2), 133–136.
  • Tripathi, A., Wang, J., Luck, L. A., & Suni, I. I. (2007). Nanobiosensor design utilizing a periplasmic E. coli receptor protein immobilized within au/polycarbonate nanopores. Analytical Chemistry, 79(3), 1266–1270.
  • Baltus, R. E., Carmon, K. S., & Luck, L. A. (2007). Quartz crystal microbalance with immobilized protein receptors: Comparison of response to ligand binding for direct protein immobilization and protein attachment via disulfide linker. Langmuir, 23, 3990–3995.
  • Sokolov, I., Subba-Rao, V., & Luck, L. A. (2006). Change in rigidity in the activated form of the glucose/galactose receptor from E. coli: A phenomenon that will be key to the development of piezoelectric biosensors. Biophysical Journal, 90(3), 1055–1063.
  • Carmon, K. S., Baltus, R. E., & Luck, L. A. (2005). A biosensor for estrogenic substances using the quartz crystal microbalance. Analytical Biochemistry, 345(2), 277–283.
  • Wang, J., Carmon, K. S., Luck, L. A., & Suni, I. I. (2005). Electrochemical impedance biosensor for glucose detection utilizing a periplasmic E. coli receptor protein. Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, 8(8), 61–64.
  • Carmon, K. S., Baltus, R. E., & Luck, L. A. (2004). A piezoelectric quartz crystal biosensor: The use of two single cysteine mutants of the periplasmic E. coli glucose/galactose receptor as target proteins for the detection of glucose. Biochemistry, 43(44), 14249–14256.
  • Abbott, G. L., Blouse, G. E., Perron, M. J., Shore, J. D., Luck, L. A., & Szabo, A. G. (2004). 19 F NMR studies of plasminogen sctivator inhibitor-1. Biochemistry, 43(6), 1507–1519.
  • Magnusson, U., Salopek-Sondi, B., Luck, L. A., & Mowbray, S. L. (2004). X-ray structures of the leucine-binding protein illustrate conformational changes and the basis of ligand specificity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279, 8747–8752.
  • Luck, L. A., Moravan, M. J., Garland, J. E., Salopek-Sondi, B., & Roy, D. (2003). Chemisorptions of bacterial receptors for hydrophobic amino acids and sugars on gold for biosensor applications: A surface plasmon resonance study of genetically engineered proteins. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 19(3), 249–259.
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Skeels, M. C., Swartz, D., & Luck, L. A. (2003). Insight into the stability of the hydrophobic binding proteins of E. coli: Assessing the proteins for use as biosensors. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Genetics, 53(2), 273–281. doi:10.1002/prot.10485
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Vaughan, M. D., Skeels, M. C., Honek, J. F., & Luck, L. A. (2003). 19 F NMR studies of the leucine-isoleucine-valine binding protein: Evidence that a closed conformation exists in solution. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 21(2), 235–246.
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., Swartz, D., Adams, P. S., & Luck, L. A. (2002). Exploring the role of amino acid-18 of the leucine binding proteins of E. coli. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 20(3), 381–387.
  • Salopek-Sondi, B., & Luck, L. A. (2002). 19F NMR study of the L-leucine-specific binding protein of Escherichia coli: Mutagenesis and assignment of the 5-fluorotryptophan-labeled residues. Protein Engineering Design and Selection, 15, 857-861.
  • Senear, D. F., Mendelson, R. A., Stone, D. B., Luck, L. A., Rusinova, E., & Ross, J. B. A. (2002). Quantitative analysis of Tryptophan analogue incorporation in recombinant proteins. Analytical Biochemistry, 300(1), 77–86.
  • Luck, L. A., Barse, J. L., Luck, A. M. & Peck, C. (2000). Conformational changes in the human estrogen receptor observed by fluorine NMR.  Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications, 270, 988–991.
  • Luck, L. A. & Johnson, C. (2000). Fluorescence and 19F NMR evidence that phenylalanine and 4-L-fluorophenylalanine bind to the L-leucine specific receptor of E. coli. Protein Science, 9, 2573–2576.
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